artist blog painting tips for beginners

Painting techniques for beginners

Here are a few painting tips that helped me enormously when I started painting.

It is always a learning process - but then we learn more from our mistakes than from our successes. 

Painting can be extremely satisfying or extremely frustrating. We all have good days and bad days, just go with it and learn something every day.

Plan your painting and in your planning process think about where your main elements will be, ensuring a balanced composition. Think about where the points of interest will sit, from what direction the light is coming. Think about what the dominant colour will be, where you will have colour harmony and where you will have contrast. Plan the point of view. Not everything has to be at eye level.

When you are ready to begin painting think about every brush stroke. Each one should be done for a reason and with intention. Don’t keep painting until you get it right - you will just make a mess.

artist paint brushes

Paint from your shoulder, not your wrist. The action from your wrist is very limited. Your whole arm should move in all but the most intricate brush strokes. Think bold, not fiddly little strokes, even on a small canvas. Use a bigger brush than you initially feel comfortable with, and reload your brush for each stroke.

Paint from general to specific. Block in the main elements first, then stand back and check the composition works. Ensure the work is not off-balance, with too much on one side and too little on the other.

Stand back from the painting to view it - do this constantly during the painting process. Put down your brush, step back and analysis your work. Set an alarm if you need a reminder.

When you have finished a painting analyse it - whether you think it is a success or a failure. This will ensure you are always improving, otherwise you may keep making the same mistakes. You might even go backwards rather than progressing.

Hope this helps any new artists. I found some of these tips really helpful, and am still trying to implement some of them now. I must admit I am not very disciplined. 

Happy painting everyone!

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